Social Media-Based Assignment B. Danh Vo

What is YouTube?

YouTube in a nutshell is a video-sharing website that allows users to upload, share, and view videos.


YouTube was founded on February 14th 2005 when Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim who were all employees of PayPal, registered the internet domain name

       Hurley,                    Chen,                 and Karim.

The original idea was to create a website like Flickr or HotorNot except for videos. After registering YouTube, Hurley, Chen, and Karim began to work on the website for the following subsequent months.

The first ever video to be uploaded onto YouTube was on the 23rd of April, 2005, and it was a 19 second video of co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo in front of the elephants.

The first ever launch of YouTube was in May 2005, and their first ever investors were Sequoia Capital, the venture firm that invested $3.5 million and which was also where YouTube’s original office/headquarters was situated.

The first major company to take advantage of YouTube’s potential promotional wise was Nike in October 2005 with their Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho advertisement. This was the first video to ever hit 1 million views on YouTube.

Early videos like the Ronaldinho and the Chinese Backstreet Boys in 2005

are very good examples of how fast YouTube’s user demographic was spreading, starting from the United States going through to China, Brazil and many more countries. In 2006, the main age group to visit YouTube in the U.S was from 12 to 17 years of age (Bausch & Han, 2006).

YouTube officially launched and made its debut in December 2005. By then it had already reached 8 million video views a day. Not too far down the track in July 2006 YouTube reached 100 million views and 65,000 new video uploads per day. Two months later in October 2006, Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion. This was just the beginning of many enhancements to come.

In June 2007 YouTube launched its mobile site, and two months later in-video advertisements were launched. In December 2007, the YouTube Partner Program was launched which allows video uploaders to profit from their video views by placing ads on their videos and receiving a certain percentage of the revenue.

In October 2008, full-length programs from CBS and MGM came to YouTube, and in December 2008 720p HD was launched. As time went by YouTube kept on launching more and more; January and February 2009, the US Congress and President and the Pope channels were launched.

In April 2009 TV shows and even films were launched onto YouTube where users could view full-length shows and films. In July 2009 3D content was launched.

Today YouTube is the most popular video-sharing website in the world. 70% of YouTube’s user traffic comes from outside of the US, more than 20% of overall video views come from mobile devices, there are over 800 million visits each month, over 4 billion hours of videos are watched each month, 72 hours of videos are uploaded every minute, and there are 43 different countries where YouTube is localised across 60 different languages. In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views, equivalent to around 140 views for every person on the planet.

But what are the reasons for YouTube’s success?

The first reason for its success would have to be its timing. YouTube came along at the perfect time, technology wise. Cameras were very accessible as they weren’t that expensive anymore and a lot of mobile phones started to have them.

Below is a video of Chase Norlin (creator of the first ever video-sharing website) explaining how YouTube had great timing.

Two other major impacts would have to be its simplistic navigation, and the fact that it’s free to use. Although, there are many other free and simple to use video-sharing websites such as NetFlix with the second highest monthly visits (eBizMBA, 2012), YouTube has unique features that separates them from other video-sharing websites.

A major feature would have to be their Partner Program. This is the main differential feature that makes YouTube standout from the rest of the video-sharing websites. With video uploaders being able to receive money from their video views, they would be more motivated to produce better quality videos for more views and hence more money.

There are many other features that make YouTube very sociable and easy to keep in touch with such as video responses (being able to post another video in response to someone elses), various different types of channels, ability to place annotations and captions, the like and dislike options, categorisation, and the ability to subscribe to channels or users to keep updated with them.

It has pretty much everything that major social network sites like Facebook, and Twitter have, except it’s all based around video, and that’s what differentiates YouTube. Video is much more interactive than words, pictures, or sound as it is a combination of all of them.

YouTube also makes itself more sociable by incorporating other social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter by having their own pages on each of those sites.

People are still using YouTube indirectly through other social networking sites. 500 years of YouTube videos are watched every day on Facebook, and over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute.



By: Danh Vo – 3820998

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